At work we received two messages from a customer of ours in Spain early this morning. I have removed the actual phone numbers from the two paragraphs quoted below. There was more to the first message, but it was just a list of alternate phone numbers.

Si a lo largo del día de hoy tuvieran dificultades para ponerse en contacto con el centro de control de CIC VSAT, por favor diríjanse a las extensiones de los operadores en lugar de la cabecera del grupo de salto (91 xxx xx xx).

Se dan por desaparecidos definitivamente los inconvenientes en nuestro numero principal (91 xxx xx xx). Disculpen las molestias que se hayan podido ocasionar.

I don’t speak, write, or read Spanish, so I pulled up Google’s language tools to figure out what these said. I found the results amusing enough to share.

If throughout today they had difficulties to put itself in contact with the control center of CIC VSAT, please they go to the extensions of the operators instead of the head of the stick (91 xx xx xx).

They occur definitively by missing the disadvantages in ours I number main (91 xxx xx xx). Excuse the annoyances that have been able to cause.

There’s enough information there to figure out what they were trying to say, but the actual translation results had me laughing for a few minutes. I also tried Babelfish, which existed long before Google had a translation service, but the results were similar, except that it left one word untranslated.

I would like to put on the record here that I am amused by the translation results only. I have every confidence that the people at our Spanish customer’s operation center are competent and intelligent. The original messages are probably perfectly valid examples of modern continental Spanish. If any of my 2.5 readers wants to provide a complete translation, feel free.

By elyograg

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.
-- J.K. Galbraith

3 replies on “engrish”

Hey, Spanglish! Fun!

Let’s see how my years here in Nueva Mexico have served me:

If through the majority of the day all o’y’all have trouble getting through (to put in contact with) with the middle of the control (customer service main line?) of the CIC VSAT, please dial directly the extensions of the operators (customer service techs) instead of the head of the group of the branch (department main line).

This will definitely avoid the inconvenience of our main number. Forgive the troubles this may have the power to cause.

*shrug* It’s not like I’m trying to learn Spanish, it just sort of seeps in by osmosis when you live this far south. Mind you, had I been the one to hear the message, I’m not sure I could have broken the spoken syllables into typed text the way you did – figuring out where one word ends and the next starts is the hardest part of it for me.

They were email messages, a couple of hours apart. Had this been spoken, there would be no hope of me getting it in written form. I think the second one actually says the problem has been fixed, with apologies for any problems, though I could be way off.

Hmm, maybe. By using the ‘net, it looks like “se dan por” means “It’s a given for ___” whatever the heck desaparecidos means. I don’t believe I’ve heard that one used on this side of the atlantic, but like I said – I don’t have the ear for it.

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